Monday, 22 December 2008

Christmas already???

O.M.G!! It's 3 days till Christmas!!!!!

I can't believe how quickly the last month has gone. I've had sick kids one after the other and then to top it off I got sick. I don't recall being that sick in a very, VERY long time.

I was literally in bed sleeping for a week. The Dr's, who are quite useless in in Country Australia might I add, could only tell me the usual. Viral infection. And even then I'm sure there was an invisible question mark hovering there somewhere.

So I'm on antibiotics but I now think I have an middle ear infection brewing. No doubt another trip to the Drs. Grrr!!! Which reminds me, I need more pain meds. But I digress.

Finally got a chance to get some Xmas shopping done. Let's just say it's not something that I enjoy doing in the first place, let alone 5 days before Christmas! Plus due to all the sickness in the house I didn't even get a chance to put up the Tree or any decorations (yes I can see myself getting Mother of the Year Award - NOT!). I'm using the excuse that we're heading off down to Sydney for Christmas with the family to avoid digging around in the critter infested garage looking for the tree box.

Oddly enough the kids haven't even mentioned that we don't have the tree up. I swear we build a rod for our own backs when it comes to these holidays and traditions LOL!

So. Now that I've had my little moan I would like to send out my belated Christmas salutations to everyone (sadly the Christmas cards didn't get sent out this year either. No use doing something by halves, I say ;) ).

Wishing everyone who stumbles across this blog, and those poor few who have actually bookmarked me a VERY Merry Christmas and a SAFE and HAPPY New Year. May 2009 be better than 2008! Cheers big ears!!!

And just something a little extra. I always remember hearing this as a kid. It always makes me laugh and I thought I would share it with you all. It's very witty. You've got to love the Irish sense of humour.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Lust Bites 2009

It's been a while since I've posted anything. There's been something screwy going on with my Firefox application. It won't let me insert images and if I go to IE everything is black and white. God I hate computers! Nothing is simple. There's ALWAYS something going wrong. Anyway, looks like it's all working at the moment, albeit veeeeerrrryyyy sloooooow. So here goes ..


Lust Bites by Various Authors. As you can see these covers are set up for various authors but all come under the the one Series. We tried for something a little different from last years Lusts Bites covers. Something a bit brighter with a modern edge.

As the series flows into all genre's the covers needed to change to reflect the books contents. So hence the different versions.

The hardest cover would have been the menage cover above. This cover had two stock images - the couple and the extra guy. I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out. I always stress over these meange covers. They take so much time in searching for suitable stock and then putting them together.

It took a little time to find someone that was going to work with this woman. We weren't sure of this guy at first but we came back to him and I think he fits in okay.

And last but not least we have our fellas. I won't bore you with my gripe on the lack of affordable male gay couple stock. So I've had to 'manip' a couple of bods. Again I almost had an aneurism trying to find stock that would work together but in the end I think I managed to pull it off. Thankfully the other cover was a simple single male image, and a very nice one it is if you don't mind me saying.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Live for Today & Danielle and the Wolf


Live for Today by Carol Lynne is the 12th and final book of the Campus Cravings Series. This book revisits the original two characters from Book 1 - Coach.

The artist request form mentioned a forest cabin and the original two characters. Unfortunately there were limited stock images of the original two characters and they weren't that appealing. So I decided to go with the 'lop their heads off' approach with a couple of brawny and nicely stacked guys.

As for the cabin in the woods. Well it turned out to be a timber Mansion in the woods LOL. Very different from the original image I sent over. Think 1950's hunting shack LOL!

Either way. I'm happy with the result and am kinda sad to see the last of this series.

Thanks for trusting me enough to do all 12 of these covers, Carol!

Danielle and the Wolf by Wendy Stone.

I really enjoyed doing this cover. There's always something 'liberating' about doing a fantasy cover. I guess it's a genre that I am passionate about and where I feel most comfortable using textures.

The castle in the background was the image I wanted to work with as the storyline had a white castle that loomed over the village. There was mention of forests and wolves and of course our ever gorgeous Hero.

The black wolf was easy enough to find. I upped the contrast and lowered the brightness of the image to make him appear darker. I've recently realised that the Brightness/Contrast function is an extremely useful tool. I will find myself using it in almost every cover I do these days.

I played around with a few different Hero's and we finally settled on this one. Then I just had to fit the wolf's head in so that it wasn't obscured by the Title and was able to be seen against the dark background.

I used a stock image of alpine forest tree tops as the texture which I used over the castle image. You can see a hint of them in the dark bottom corner if you look close enough.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Engaging Deception & Passion of Madeline


Engaging Deception by Summer Jordan is the third book in the Wives-R-Us series.

This cover used three different stock images in this cover.

Firstly I replaced the woman's face. Unfortunately when I cropped the image her nose looked a bit odd. I'm getting quite used to chopping bits and replacing them these days. The hardest part of this is getting the right angles and the right skin tones.

Next I touched up her hair, giving it a reddish tone and added a diamond engagement ring which ties back to the to the story.

The layout is the same as for the previous covers. Although this one is a sexier edge to it.

Passion of Madeline by Robin Gideon.

Gee I played around with a LOT of different stock options for this cover. Historicals are so limiting when it comes to stock. There's not a lot of stock available with models in period dress. Well, not stock that I can afford.

So while this cover looks more Contemporary Western, it is in fact an Historical.

I tried adding sweeping landscapes to the background but it was all starting to get a bit crowded. So we agreed on a plain black background and added some sepia/brown tones to the overall effect.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

True Blood

Yippee!! I'm in Vampire heaven.

True Blood the TV series (HBO) has finally aired in the US. As usual I have to watch it online, and even with my computer coughing and spluttering through the buffering process, I'm loving it! For anyone who's interested you can catch the first three episodes here

Of course, if I weren't so attached to the book series I could possibly look at it with a little less enthusiasm. I'm sure there will be people who hate it, those who enjoy it for what it is and others who just love it. I'm probably in the middle group ATM. Then again it usually takes me a few episodes to warm to a series.

Either way, I'm just so happy to see these characters finally come to life outside of my head. There's nothing better than sitting back and watching it all happen. I've been re-reading my Sookie series like a mad-woman. And for the records I must admit that I'm officially in love with Sam (Sam Trammell). He is just how I imagined Sam Merlotte to be and I just want to smack some sense into Sookie and tell her to wake up to herself LOL!

Bill's character I'm yet to warm to. There's something about him that doesn't appeal to me. Maybe it's the vintage hairstyle, or perhaps the fact that he actually does look dead LOL! I find him creepy one second and the 'guy next door' the next. I wish he'd stop trying to look through his eyebrows/fringe *sigh*

Sookie is another one I'm not sure about. I feel she's working the pony-tail a bit too much LOL! But there are times I think 'Yep, that's the Sookie I'd imagined'.

Oh, and then there's Jason played by Ryan Kwanten (Aussie, Aussie, Aussie - Oi, Oi, Oi!). Well what can I say other than I feel like I know him intimately LOL! If you've seen the show you'll know what I'm talking about. If not, well let's just say that he spends the majority of Episodes 1, 2 and 3 naked and very active. NOT that I'm complaining! The images below are rather tame compared to the show LOL!

So there we have it, the True Blood season has well and truly started.

Now, for something a little different. Today I decided to get a movie via pay TV. I decided to watch The Other Boylin Girl. Wow. And I say wow in that I mean 'what a miserable existence it must have been for those poor, poor women'.

Honestly! It saddens me how these poor girls were made to be the scapegoats for the males of their families. Pawns in the system certainly springs to mind. I doubt very much that women ranked much higher than the farmyard sow for that is all they seemed good for. Pumping out male Heirs. Heaven forbid if they gave birth to a girl - as Ann quickly found out. I guess we could argue that it's Hollywood's version of history but the sad thing is that it wouldn't surprise me in the least.

Still it was certainly a movie I'd recommend. Kinda makes me happy that I wasn't born back then. Not that I'd be blogging about it now if I had LOL!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Phantoms' Pleasure & Halloween Angel


Halloween Angel by J.P. Bowie is another m/m cover. From memory this had a touch of paranormal, in that one of the characters is a Vampire.

So this cover called for the dark brooding Vampire and the human character dressed in Angel costume.

I remembered having seen sexy guy's in their wings on some stock sites so I did a quick search and found my 'angel'. Of course I had to add new wings as the ones in the image were on upside-down. Of course!

Also the strap round his shoulder was a bit too wide so I narrowed that down a bit. This character also called for a silver loin-cloth. I was able to find a loin-cloth and played around with it until it gave the impression of being silver (hue/contrast/desaturate, etc).

Then I searched around for the dark, handsome & brooding Vamp. I have quite a few Lightboxes that I categorise images into, for example: male_brunette, woman_blonde, male_tattoos .. well, you get the picture.

So I had this guy tucked away for some time. I'd kinda had him pegged as a 'Vampire' type so he fit this cover really well.

So a bit of cutting and pasting and juggling for position and the basic cover was set. The black background was a bit flat so I decided to add an overlay of some black silk sheets although you can't see them very well.

Phantoms' Pleasure by Brynn Paulin.

Argh! The dreaded Menage image LOL! For some reason I can't get my head around these. Maybe because it takes a lot of time to find the stock that's going to work together.

I always tell myself that when I'm not working on any covers I'm going to try to build up a library of manipulated menages LOL! Of course I'm yet to do this.

So. Here we have a pretty steamy menage. The couple certainly looked up for it, so I just had to find a guy to join in. Funnily enough it is the same guy, just from a different image LOL! So in all honesty, once I chose the stock, it all came together very easily.

I matched the skin 'colour' to keep the same tones. I also used some hair brushes so her hair didn't look so 'cut out'. I popped the guy behind her and added some shadowing to his chest, where her hair is meant to be resting. Looking at it now I can see 'issues' with it. But I'm still flying by the seat of my pants in many ways.

Hopefully it will only get easier.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Wanted!! Heart & Soul


Wanted! by Aurora Rose Lynn is an Historical Western.

In this book the Heroine is the Sheriff and the Hero the Outlaw. Yay for the women's movement! LOL

I do have to admit that I shudder when I see the Historical covers pop up in my inbox. Usually because it means endless hours trawling through the stock sites for any images that I can pass off as 'historical' looking. OR it just means a lot of cutting and pasting - corsets, heads, guns, backgrounds, cowboy hats, crinolins, etc, etc, in an attempt to get the right look.

So that's why I love this cover. It's so simple. The couple are passionate (just pretend her bra is a white camisole - no doubt only hussy's wore black undergarments in those days,LOL!) while the Font, aged paper and Sherrif badge hint towards the Western storyline.

Just some cutting and pasting in this one. I changed the hue of the couple to blend in with the gold tones of the paper/badge.

Sure you'd be hard up working out which one is the sherrif but I guess that's what the book blurb is for.

COMING SOON ... Heart & Soul by Ashley Ladd.

This cover was quite simple. I think this was my one and only attempt at this cover. The only change made was to remove a grungy looking love heart that I'd had behind the text.

So lots of cutting out of 'Characters' in this one. I liked the girl at the bottom. She was a nice change from the norm. I feel a lot of the covers start to look the same after a while. But then that could just be my lack of knowledge to make them more interesting each time. So having her down the bottom filled that urge for a different look.

I matched the font colour to her lips and just added a glow to make it pop out from the background.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Seducing Damian


Seducing Damian by Aliyah Burke.

Something a little different with the Egyptian Theme. I used five different pieces of stock in this one cover. Probably cost me more in stock than I get paid to do the cover LOL! But who's complaining. It's something I enjoy doing.

The hardest part of this cover was adding ancient Egyptian style make-up to the woman. Not that you'd really notice it LOL. I also had to darken her skin which was easy enough by using masks and layers. The guy, meh! Easy enough. Just a cut and paste.

The background - hieroglyphics on stone, pyramids and sunset .. all very Egyptian.

It was looking a bit flat and un-interesting so I decided to add a bit of texture by using the Eye. Just gives it another dimention whilst keeping with the paranormal/Egyptian theme.

I must say that I am finding it harder and harder to give a run down on each cover. I feel like I'm repeating myself each time LOL. I hope I'm not boring you all to tears.

Gee it's been hard this month to get my head in the right place to create my covers. I've had quite a few other things going on so my ability to focus has been stretched to the limit LOL! I'm hoping I can get myself out of this rut before I start getting too far behind.

Oh, did I mention that I have started learning Salsa dancing?? hahaha It's really a lot of fun. It's only me doing it, hubby stays at home with the kids. I'm finally starting to get a life outside of the house and kids, which is nice. They've got a few social dances coming up but I don't know if I'll be up for that just yet LOL.

Anyway, that's it from me for the moment. I've had some other covers released and will try to update as soon as I can.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Single White Knight


Single White Knight is an erotic Time Travel written by the talented Brynn Paulin.

This cover was challenging in the fact that I needed to bring together a medieval knight and a modern day guy.

Originally to keep a sense of history I had a castle in the background but we felt we needed a more modern background.

There were two versions of this knight that I was playing around with, the front view that I ended up using and a side view. There was some juggling involved because the front guy was difficult to work around, with his arm up like that. But I think I've managed to get it all in without it looking too cluttered. The original knight images were actually black and white so I had to change it to look like it was colour.

A simple mask and hue change were all I needed there. Luckily there were not too many colours involved. Just the armor and the skin. The guy in the front was a simple cut and paste although his 'angles' were awkward to work around.

I made the font follow the line of the guy's body. Whether that is graphically correct, I don't know, but it seemed to look better to me LOL!

You may notice some textures hidden in there somewhere. I found a nice sketched medieval battle scene and thought that would add some interest to it. It's hard to see on the cover but on the cover flat which incorporates the back it looks quite good.

I've been playing around, creating my own textures lately. I take my own photos and then just play around in Photoshop with them. Adding textures can really make an image 'pop' and it's fun seeing what you can do with them.

I've also been invited to write a monthly blog over at TEB's Hot Spot! This month's post is a breakdown on the Men of Tokyo: Sudden Surrender.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Theron's Return


Theron's Return by Carol Lynne is Book 11 in the Campus Cravings series.

The covers in this series, as I have noted before, are all very much the same. Just a change of images.

A bit of cutting and pasting, juggling of images, etc. The hardest part is searching for the right images.

This one had a Psychiatrist in it, from memory. Hence the leather sofa at the top. With the top image I usually try to give some hint of the storyline. While the bottom image centers on the Characters.

I used a total of four stock images in this cover.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Send Me An Angel!!


Send Me An Angel by Alysha Ellis.

Yum-o! LOL!

A nice straight forward cover with minimal stock. It's quite striking but that could just be the blue/white theme. Oh and the God-like model on the front! Ha ha ..

Anyway, it was pretty simple, despite being the second version. Just for something a little different I'll attach a copy of my initial idea. As you can see the theme is quite similar

So only three pieces of stock in this cover. Background, man and wings.

The wings were just a cut and past with a bit of softening and 'Fluffing' around the edges with the smudge tool.

The original model had a necklace on which I had to paint out. I'm not 100% happy with it, because I can still see where I painted. Of course others possibly wouldn't notice .. but now that I've brought your attention to it .... LOL!

Oh and Alysha I hope that drool didn't effect your keyboard! LOL! I'm glad you liked it though :D

Sorry things have been a bit slow on here lately. I've been a bit distracted by real-life LOL. There are a couple of covers in the pipeline and my next batch will hopefully be sent through to me any day now. So more covers to come soon. Thanks for being patient with me :D

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Duet in Blood


Duet in Blood by J.P. Bowie is the 3rd book in a Vampire series.

The previous two covers were done by another cover artist with TEB so all I really had to do was find the images. The set-up was the same for all three covers.

I've been wanting to use the dark guy in the background for ages. He's got a real dark, broody look to him. I wish there was more stock like this for the darker genres.

So a very easy cover yet relatively effective. Nice shot of Paris down the bottom :D

I've been finding it soooo hard these last few days to come back down to earth after my little trip to Melbourne. It's reminded me that there's another world outside of my little computer desk. I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing in all honesty. I'll have to wait and see if this itch subsides.

Now, I must get back to my covers before I get sacked!! LOL

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

I'm Back!!!

Hellooooo ... here I am :D *Waves to Dakota and Amarinda*

Been busy with covers and just waiting for new ones to be released before I put them up here. So it has been a while :D I've also been getting up to mischief. Took a few days off to head down to Sydney and Melbourne.

Caught up with Family in Sydney and then left the kids with Mum and hoofed it off to Melbourne to see the So You Think You Can Dance Australia Tour. What an AWESOME weekend. The girls I met up with were fantastic and I have a feeling we'll be friends for many years to come. We're already talking about catching up on an annual basis. Next year we're talking of going to a Spa to get pampered for a weekend. Can't wait!

Now. As for the SYTYCD tour. W.O.W! The show was fantastic. We screamed and generally upset those people around us. But I paid for my tickets too, so I was going to enjoy myself LOL! We generally acted like Groupies and screamed the house down when ever Jemma and Rhys came on stage LOL. We were there with Jemma's mum which was pretty spesh - what an amazing lady. She then surprised us with backstage passes so we got to go back and meet all the dancers.

I finally met Rhys and Jemma. My two favourite dancers. Got pics with all the dancers - even Jack, who won the series. They were all so nice and accommodating. I'm not sure if I'll be as emotionally attached to the next series. For some reason these two dancers really got under my skin. Can't wait to see where their careers take them now.

Here we are with Rhys (I'm the blonde next to Rhys) and then there's the not so good one with me and Jemma, LOL! I'm hoping one of the others got a better pic :D

So I've met some fantastic people over the last week. It was nice to step outside the 'Mummy' box. I'm thinking I might have to do it a bit more often LOL. Well, I'm back to the real world now. Got some more covers to work on so I better get to it.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Red Stone of Passion

Coming soon to Total-E-Bound ...

Red Stone of Passion by Tuesday Morrigan.

I've had a sudden rush of covers released. Can you tell? LOL.

Red Stone of Passion is a Menage book, obviously as there are two bodies and a head on the cover.

I just had to lighten the woman's skin tone to a 'coffee colour' and give her a bob hairstyle. She also had orangy-gold lipstick which clashed with the red diamond so I just changed the hue to something more suitable.

The guy's were straight forward cut and paste. There was a bit of jostling for position but they fit in quite well. It's funny how something as simple as a belly-button can cause me to re-work a cover. Originally the middle guy's belly-button was framed by the 'd', making it stand out too much for my liking .Of course now that I've mentioned it, everyone will be looking at it. It's still a bit prominent, isn't it. It looks like a bullet hole.
Oh, hey AJ! Does the fellow in the jeans look a little familiar LOL!

The diamond was a simple colour change from blue. I like the vibrancy of the red. I also played around with a few different fonts for this one. For the title itself I've used three different fonts.

Now for something a little different. Jacquelyn Frank is holding a raffle were you get the chance to win some truly mouth-watering prizes and all for a good cause! So if you're a pet lover, head on over and see if anything takes your fancy. Best thing is she's happy to post WORLD WIDE! Godiva Chocolates, ladies ... an advanced copy of NOAH, the final book in her Nightwalker Series, AND a load of fantastic reads from some carefully selected authors. So get on over there and have a squiz, buy a ticket and support the Animal Compassion Network!

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Men of Tokyo - Sudden Surrender

Coming soon to Total-E-Bound!

Men of Tokyo - Sudden Surrender by Sedonia Guillone is book 3 in the WhiteTigers series.

This is the first cover I have done of this series and damn if it wasn't a tricky one LOL! I honestly thought that body tattoo was going to be the end of me as a cover artist. Seriously!

Anyway, because I'm pretty chuffed with how it turned out, I thought I'd share with you how I managed to pull it together.

First things first. I needed to find the characters. In all honesty there's not a lot of Asian/Oriental guys available out there. Well. I don't think chubby business man is quite in the 'Erotic Cover' league, but someone might yet surprise me.

Anyway, so I managed to find some nice bods. The guy on the left worked perfectly for the Character he was to portray. The Guy in the middle though, looked like he'd sucked on a lemon so I decided to lop off his head and give him a new one. Oh, if only it were so easy in real life, eh?

The original head I chose was a bit too 'cranky' so we went for the guy on the right. Sweet!

Okay, so now with lots of cutting and pasting of heads we have our two characters ready to go. Now for the hard bit.

The character over on the right called for a full body Yakuza tattoo - white tigers and cherry blossoms. O.M.G.!

Now I'm pretty adept these days at adding a tattoo here and there and getting them to look relatively natural. BUT a whole body tattoo??

So the search began. Firstly I trawled through the stock sites. There were a few things I could have thrown together but in all honesty the amount of stock required would have killed me. However, in my searches I managed to stumble across this image on the right.

It had the tiger AND the blossoms. Bingo!

Unfortunately the tiger was yellow, but thanks to the desaturate tool I was able to leach out the colour and produce a white tiger. Next, it was obvious that this image was not going to fit on the big guy's body without looking a bit odd. Plus the larger I stretched the image, the poorer the quality became. So I was going to have to keep my images small.

What I ended up doing was creating a new document and copying and pasting parts of the image around the tiger, gradually expanding outwards. I'd blend the edges of the image so there was no obvious seam by erasing with a large, soft brush.

This gave me a broader canvas to work with. Also ensuring that I would not notice the edges of the cut & pastes in amongst all that busy background.

So back to the big guy. Using the expanded tattoo design, I enlarged it enough to cover his chest. I had to dabble with the perspective so that the angles were correct. Then using a displacement map of his torso, I was able to distort the tattoo so it fit to his chest. I worked like this in sections all over his torso, upper & lower arms and shoulders. Cutting and pasting, blending and merging sections of the basic design until I was happy that his body was covered.

As you can imagine there were quite a few layers. At least 20 just to cover his torso, arms and shoulders. Once I had him covered I copied those layers and then merged them into one. I changed the layer to Multiply and fiddled with the opacity until it looked more natural. Phew!

My next challenge, but obviously not so difficult was to try to find an image of the Kanji for Suzuki. I did manage to find one but it was of poor quality. So I had to recreate it in a new document. I hope to god it is correct LOL! This was just a 'normal' tattoo that needed to go on the background guy.

The hard bit out of the way all I needed to do now was bring the design over from the previous ones of the series. Pop the the guy's together, blend them in, fiddle with contrasts, shadows, highlights, etc and then go and find myself a nice quite corner to huddle in. LOL!

Of course there was a lot more fiddling involved, but I don't want to bore you all with the details. This is just to give people the gist of what goes on behind the scenes.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Hershies Kiss

Hershies Kiss coming soon to TEB!!

Hershies Kiss by Carol Lynn is book 10 in the Campus Cravings series.

This was a pretty basic cover. Again it sticks to the series theme. From memory one of the characters is a Chef or at least likes cooking. Hence the pots at the top.

The two fellas say it all really. Simple cut and paste and a bit of contrast balance and shadowing.

I hear that this book is pretty hot!

Got myself another book to read. This time it's Damien by Jacquelyn Frank. The Nightwalker Series. I so easily get sucked into these series LOL! I'm almost finished it - of course. Books don't last long in my grasp. I'm hoping that by the time I finish this one, the next in the Sookie Stackhouse series will be available in Paperback. Although I doubt that will be the case by tomorrow LOL!

Once I've read that book though I will have to wait a good 12 months before the next book in any of these series come out. Actually, no I lie. Noah comes out in September 08, but that's in the US. Although I could pre-order it I guess. We'll see.

I think I'll be pretty busy in between books though. I really do need to set myself up with a desk diary so I know what I'm doing these days. That includes fitting in housework around covers, computer time and reading LOL! I really do need to set aside quiet time for my reading though. I often find I'm reading my book whilst trying to get the kids breakfast or when I'm cooking dinner. I'm so impatient when it comes to my books. Still, it would be better if I could concentrate without the constant interruptions. I'm sure I'd enjoy the books even more.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Ride 'em Cowboy

Another cover, coming soon to TEB!!

Ride 'em Cowboy by J.P. Bowie.
(can't add links atm, so I'll come back to those)

*sigh* Cowboys .... yum!

Okay. Thinking, thinking. We can all thank Claire for the image of the sexy cowboy in the back. He was originally leaning up against a barbed wire fence, but I cut that out. Obviously ;)

The guy in the front I made blonder to suite the city boy character. Actually, he kinda reminds me of a Lesser from JR Wards Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I don't know if that's such a good thing, now that I think of it LOL!

The background was a bone of contention and it took a bit of back and forth before we found the right image. All the pretty country images showed mainly run-down, dilapidated old sheds. At least with this one the shed looks like part of a working property, instead of a ruin in the middle of a deserted paddock.

Had something interesting happen this week. I'll sit on it for a bit to see what comes of it before I share.

Now speaking of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward. I just finished Lover Enshrined. That would be Phury's book for fans. I can't believe I've finished it already. No. I can believe it. I absolutely love this series. I can honestly read one of these books within 24 hours. Anyway, I've finished it and will now have to wait another 12 months for the next in the series. God I hate that. I think it's Revhenge's story from what I've gleaned from the forums. Which will be interesting as I don't know how he's going to do the deed unless he's matched up with another Sympath. The old 'fish-hook' thing wouldn't help matters in the bedroom. WHAAAT? I hear you cry LOL! Oh well. I guess you'll have to read the books to find out ;) Still. It will be interesting to see what JR has planned for Xhex and John.

I finally got around to doing Amarinda & Dakota's banners - Yay!! Can't figure out why they're not changing though. Maybe one of the girls can give me some tips.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Having it All

Coming soon to TEB - Having it All.

Having it All by Jamie Hill is Book 3 in the Unexpected Love Series.

Geez, this one was a while ago so I'm having difficulty remembering what I did. It was pretty straight forward from memory. I just cut out the characters and fit them onto the cover.

Of course it's never THAT easy. I need to blend them so they don't look like paper cut-outs. This can entail adding shadow and highlighting or a few strands of 'fly-away' hair to soften edges. Colour matching the characters or adding a bit more contrast, etc.

Then I need to juggle the size of the characters so they 'look' right. I like them to fill the cover, whilst not overcrowding it.

I've kept to the same style with this book, as you can see below.

So I've been totally sucked in by Facebook. There are loads of fun games that you can play over there. Who knew! I'm already addicted to PackRat and Scramble. You can play anything from Sudoku to Majhong. PackRat is a game where you collect sets of themed cards either by purchasing them with game credits or stealing them from your friends. The collector in me is in heaven with this game. Unfortunately it has become an obsession. Thanks April!!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Heatwave V2

Here we have another version of Heatwave.

This cover was put together for a couple of M/M stories that crept into the mix for the Heatwave Anthologies.


Sunday, 8 June 2008

The Harder they Come

The Harder they Come coming soon to Total-E-Bound!!

The Harder they Come by Kaenar Langford.

Yay!! It took some mucking about but I finally found my biker. Oh, I'm sure he's been well and truly used around the publishing houses, but he was all I could afford LOL!

He comes as is. I chopped off his thumb, which stuck out like a .. well, a sore thumb I suppose you could say. I think Claire asked me if he was holding a spoon or something in his hand LOL! So, off it went. I then added his luscious long hair to get our bad-boy, younger man biker.

The bike I had from a previous cover (yay! I'm finally starting to re-use some stock). I'd saved it as a PNG file so that I didn't have to cut it out from the background again. I do that with anything that I cut out - people, objects, backgrounds. Just in case I need to use them again.

The Cafe in the background took a bit of searching. I had a picture in my head of what I wanted, but of course that just doesn't exist, but this one worked out surprisingly well.

So, yep. After the initial mucking about and three covers later. This was the winner.

Thanks everyone for your support on my Writing post. As it turns out I haven't had much time to sit down and focus this past week. I've had some covers come in, but hopefully I can get onto it and start trying to get myself organised this week. I'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

How do you do it?

Geez this writing business is damn hard work.

Okay. So I have this story that I've been dabbling with for a good 3 years now. I've named it Dragon Lord and as you guessed. It is about a Dragon Lord. Yes, my own creativity leaves me baffled and open mouthed in wonder. But I digress.

See, I've been plugging away at this - this THING. Leaving it and coming back to it. Adding. Subtracting. Heaven forbid re-writing. Until I've come to the point where I now have DL WIP 1, DL WIP2 and numerous versions of DL WIP3.

I've kept text that I'd removed and popped it in it's very own special document, just in case I wanted to come back to it. (I was so over remembering that I wrote something only to find out that I'd deleted it, so hence the Deleted Text document). Then there's the character charts, Idea documents and vague attempts at Plot lines and world building.

So of course I've totally confused myself to the point that I can't even remember which DL WIP 3 I was working on. Yes. I opened them all on the same day. *smacks head*

So. Over to the right there, you can see that I've put up a little progress meter. It shows progress on what is obviously Dragon Lord version 4. Yep, yep. I'm an idiot.

But this story wants to be told. I just don't know how to tell it. I thought that by starting from scratch it would be easier to pull together. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be the case. I can't totally turn my back on what I have previously written (17,000 words). There are some good bits there. Somewhere. In amongst the mind numbingly boring bits involved with getting from point A to B.

In all honesty I'm starting to go stark, raving BONKERS. This then sees me disenchanted with the latest version so I return to the previous one, telling myself that it wasn't that bad to begin with. Which means that I shelve the new one I started BUT there are parts of that that I quite like and may just be able to slot into the storyline, so it get's it's own little document. (can you see a pattern here?)

Also. I've noticed that V3 and V4 seem to be written in two very different voices and the characters are a bit different. For example in V3 my Hero is quite defensive and manipulative but in V4 he's coming cross as caring and a bit pathetic.

Plus, when I go back and read what I did in V3 I sometimes find myself stitting back and wondering. Who wrote that? Surely I didn't write that? But I did. See. Somewhere in there there are little hints of genius. Well, maybe that's taking it a bit far but there are things there that impress even myself.

Oooh look. Yummy. There's my hero *drool* It's as sexy as a half a head can get I suppose. ->

So. Where do I go from now? I probably shelve the whole lot. Because this is what I do every time I get in the mood to write. I start, get confused, get bored with getting confused and then put it all away. *sigh*

I think I have commitment issues.

I need to find myself a small Critique group that specializes in Romantic Paranormal Fantasy, or there abouts. I need to discuss my work with other writers. I need to learn so I work out how to get the Heroine to invite the scary Hero into her house ASAP so we can can get the story moving. Now keep in mind he will be naked and she will be sporting a wound thanks to him. Oh and then there's him changing into a Dragon thing. Geez, talk about baggage! Who in their right mind would invite THAT into the house? Honestly.

*sigh* I need a bex and a good lie down.